Friday, March 6, 2015

Art: The Wild Swans by Anna & Elena Balbusso

Apparently the Once Upon A Blog... Gallery of Enchanted Arts, turned two years old yesterday! In an
effort to spread more fairy tale love and awareness through various social media sites, Tumblr was one of those spots on the web that I set-up not too long ago (well, I guess it's two years ago!). I don't mention it much but I do try to post some new fairy tale every week or more often, so if you ever need more beautiful fairy tale images, go take a look.

(Of course Pinterest remains my main image hunting and gathering spot and that rarely overlaps with any other social media at all. It's not quite daily but almost!)

In honor of milestones I thought I'd add an art post for today, especially as on Tumblr I don't tend to post all the work from one book or by one artist at once - I like to spread out the visual fun there but seeing all the images from one story is inspiring to me to, so today we're looking at one of my favorite tales The Wild Swans.

The artists for this stunning looking book are Anna and Elena Balbusso. They're Italian twin sisters and have been working as a team in art and illustration for over fifteen years, something you don't see too often (anyone else immediately thinking Snow White and Rose Red?) You can read more about their works and many awards, HERE, while their main website is HERE.

Let the illustration gorgeousness begin! (You can click on the images to see them full sized.)
Incidentally, the scene above, with Eliza, (or whatever name she goes by in the various tales), being bathed and having cursed, poison toads put in with her, that hopped onto her head and heart etc but then changed to poppies, was my favorite as a child from this story.
As much as I am fascinated - and love! - the whole boys-turning-into-swans (and back again) aspect, it's this bathing scene which was so very vivid to me. Perhaps it was the colors mentioned or perhaps the clear symbolism but finding illustrations of this scene proved quite difficult for many years. So this is the scene I storyboarded (but which no one will ever see..).
Below is the full cover of the book these illustrations are from. I wish the front illustration was available to view without the added graphics for the read-aloud book, but nonetheless, I just love it.


  1. Thanks for sharing-these illustrations are incredible, and I've never seen them before!

  2. No, it's digital work in Photoshop

  3. Wow..ahhh..I'm speechless. Thanks for letting me behold the beauty of The Wild Swans..